Once you decide to part with your car, the question is how. Do you donate it to an organization like the Boys and Girls Club? Do you sell it to a junk yard for parts? Or do you trade it in or sell it? Most people opt for selling their car to get a bit of money from it.
Here are 5 things to do to help you on your selling journey.
1. Once youve decided to sell your car yourself, the next step is the selling prep. First of all, gather all the cars documents into one packet that you can hand over easily I like manila envelopes. Gather the title for the vehicle, maintenance records, and receipts. If you do not have all the records, contact the shops that have worked on your car, and ask them to email or fax your records to you. If that isnt an option, write down those shops and their phone number for the new owner to contact. Good maintenance records show the potential buyer that you took good care of the car.
Next, clean your car inside and out. Do one section at a time to avoid becoming overwhelmed. Have a bag to collect garbage and another bag for items to take back into the house. Dont forget the glovebox, trunk, cup holders, and ashtray. Take out personal items hanging on the rearview mirror and anywhere else. Once everything is cleaned out, vacuum the interior and wash the exterior. It doesnt need to look showroom new, but no one wants to buy a filthy car!
2. You may think your car is the bees knees and drives like new, but someone without the attachment you have may think differently. Have your car inspected by a mechanic, who will be able to find any problems with the engine, or things you might not notice with features you dont use, or that a taillight that is out. Being upfront with every aspect of the car will show your honesty with the potential buyer, and disclosing everything found in your assessment means your buyer will not be surprised by anything they find in their own assessment.
After you know the exact condition of your car, it is time to find the value. Go to Kelly Blue Book or Edmunds to find a realistic asking price for your car, and then adjust it slightly either lower or higher depending on your car s particular variables. Feel free to raise the price if:
· Your car is still under warranty, and that warranty is transferable
· If it’s far under the mileage listed for your car
· Your car is up-to-date on major scheduled maintenance
· Your car has brand new tires and/or brakes
Lower the price if:
· You want your car to sell more quickly
· Your car needs a major scheduled maintenance check
· Your car needs tires or brakes
· Your car has been in an accident
Asking price is only a starting point for negotiations. Remember that most people do not get their asking price.
3. Next, advertise. Take pictures! Take lots of pictures to include in your advertisements. Take more pictures than you think you’ll need, of the interior, exterior, engine, trunk, and dash, as well as any scratches, dents, or stains. The more pictures availableespecially of imperfectionsthe more honest you seem and less like youre trying to hide something.
Announce your sale to the online social world. Post details to your Facebook page, Twitter, blog, Tumblr, Pinterest, and any other account you have. Also consider posting on places like autotrader.com, cars.com, kbb.com, Craigslist, or Facebook Marketplace.
Create a video to post. Make your car come alive with song, dance, a musical, or a puppet showanything to tell your cars story and make it appealing for your viewers. You can grab some stock footage for transition shots, or even some aerial footage for a birds eye viewI get mine from Art Beats. Enlist your family and friends, and create something fun and catching.
Post announcements around your town, on community bulletin boards in the library, community centers, and coffee shops, and tell your mechanic and others who could meet someone wanting to purchase a new car.
While making your ads, avoid gimmicky phrases like as new or fully loaded’. It’s a used car: no one is expecting it to be new.
4. Meeting potential buyers can be stressful for those of us who don’t make a living selling cars. Here are a few tips to make it a good experience:
· Dress for success. If you look clean and professional, it helps the buyer believe you also take as much care of your car.
· Don’t try to be smooth . Be warm, friendly, knowledgeable, honest, and confident.
· Be prepared to negotiate the price, but don’t start negotiating until after the test drive. You want the buyer to be in love with the car, and only then start haggling price.
5.Be safe during the process of selling.
· Many apps, or a program like Google Voice, give you a temporary phone number that will forward the call to your cell phone, giving you a buffer between you and any crazies who find your number online.
· Create a new email account for the sole purpose of selling your car, for the same reasons you would want a temporary phone number. It also cleans up the after-sale process: just delete that account and you’re done!
· If you are not comfortable with strangers knowing where you live, agree to meet in a public place where there are people and maybe even cameras around.
· Take a friend with you, and allow the buyer to do the same. There is safety in numbers!
· Verify the buyer’s driver’s license before allowing them behind the wheel. The car is still in your name after all.
· Decide beforehand what type of payment you will accept. Cash, MoneyGram, or a certified check are usually the safest choices.
· Complete the paperwork carefully to avoid any mistakes! A clean simple sell is the best kind of sell.
One mistake to avoid: if you sell your car in a public place, don’t forget to arrange a ride back home! Now get out there, and sell your car like a pro.